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Chapter Eight

What’s It All About? What have we learned about Alice Ravenhill? How was she shaped by her family background and life circumstances? How did she change her outlook over her lifetime? What is her legacy? To begin with, Alice Ravenhill needs to be viewed as a product of her times, born into the rising middle…
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Chapter One

A Visit from Francis [1] Alice Ravenhill collected her going-out items from the room she shared with her sister Edith at the Windermere Hotel on McLure Street in Victoria.  It was 9 a.m. on August 7, 1940, and downstairs waited a twenty-year old art prodigy, Francis Jim Baptiste, just in from the Inkameep Reserve near…
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Chapter Two

Offering Service to Canada (1910-1926) The Shawnigan Lake community that Alice and Edith Ravenhill saw in November of 1910 combined British gentility and rough-and-ready logging. It had sprung from Sir John A. Macdonald’s promise to Vancouver Islanders to create a rail line from sea to sea.[1] The coal baron Robert Dunsmuir was hired to build…
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Chapter Three

Sixty-Seven Years Old and What Next? As some of Alice Ravenhill’s critics have noticed, she had little previous knowledge in Indigenous arts and crafts or ethnology prior to 1926. After returning ill and defeated to Canada in 1919, Ravenhill had gradually disengaged herself from home economics education, except for the occasional foray into writing letters…
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Chapter Four

The Tale Behind the Tale The lounge of the Windermere Hotel was busy on the evening of December 27, 1939. Few people seemed to notice that there was a three-month old war on in Europe. Alice Ravenhill smoothed down her best black taffeta dress and adjusted the lacey white jabot around her neck. At the…
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Chapter Five

Meeting Mr. Coyote “Oh good, it’s Friday” Clarence Walkem[1] said to his best friend, Oliver Stewart. It had been a long week at St. George’s Indian Residential School. “What’re you going to draw today? “I liked those bucking horses we did last week,” Oliver said. Then he stopped a minute.  “How come we only get…
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Chapter Six

Getting It All Done The summons came just after lunchtime on August 23, 1941. “Miss Ravenhill” the anxious voice of Betty Newton sounded through the door of her room at the Windermere Hotel, “Dr. McGill, Major McKay and Mr. Moore are downstairs waiting for you.” Alice Ravenhill’s mind raced. Even though she had asked for…
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Chapter Seven

The Last Ten Years The view out the corner window of the Aged and Infirm Old Women’s Home at 857 McClure Street in downtown Victoria let Alice Ravenhill keep track of everyone coming and going. Compared to most of the residents she and her sister Edith were quite lively, she thought, momentarily forgetting that she…
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#129 Hornby haven for herd of steel

The Art of Jeffrey Rubinoff by James Fox (editor) Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2016 $36.95  / 9781771621298 Reviewed by Catherine Nutting First published May 22, 2017 * The Art of Jeffrey Rubinoff concerns Rubinoff’s sculpture, the park on Hornby Island he shaped as a permanent sculptural exhibit and his conviction that the process of…
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Alice Ravenhill: Never Say Die

Alice Ravenhill: Never Say Die by Mary Leah de Zwart * Foreword: (below) CHAPTER ONE: A Visit from Francis CHAPTER TWO: Offering Service to Canada (1910-1926) CHAPTER THREE: Sixty-seven Years Old and What Next? CHAPTER FOUR: The Tale Behind the Tale CHAPTER FIVE: Meeting Mr. Coyote CHAPTER SIX: Getting it all Done CHAPTER SEVEN: The…
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1215 Couplets of inspired brushstrokes

Gold in the Shadow: Twenty-Two Ghazals and a Cento for Phyllis Webb by Diana Hayes Salt Spring Island: Rainbow Publishers, 2021 $24.95 / 9780973440874 Gold in the Shadow is available here and here Reviewed by Isabella Wang * The poetry community flourishes on a synergism of influence, friendships, and what poet Stephen Collis calls “the…
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1212 Reconsidering George Manuel

Brotherhood to Nationhood: George Manuel and the Making of the Modern Indian Movement by Peter McFarlane with Doreen Manuel, with a foreword by Pamela Palmater Toronto: Between the Lines Books, 2020 (second edition; first published 1993) $32.95  /  9781771135108 Reviewed by Sarah Nickel * Indigenous women “were every part of organizing [because] the women are…
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1208 A multitude of universities

Postsecondary Education in British Columbia: Public Policy and Structural Development, 1960-2015 by Robert Cowin Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019 $34.95 / 9780774838344 Reviewed by Ken Coates * Post-secondary education is a controversial topic in British Columbia. From failed attempts to revive Notre Dame University in Nelson to the decision to open the University of Northern British…
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